Whether it’s a holiday feast or a Sunday family dinner, we should be focused on keeping your immune system strong, but let’s be honest with ourselves– we’re most likely eating heavy meals and skipping workouts during the holiday season.

This year, we can break the cycle. Add antioxidant spices, herbs and alternative ingredients to traditional favorites, and our guests won’t miss a thing.

Fruit Salads

A fruit-and-greens salad are packed with vitamins. When grapes are part of the mix, you’ll be adding resveratrol, an important anti-cancer compound. Add nuts like almonds and walnuts for an immunity boost.

“Spicy” Desserts

Cloves, ginger, cinnamon and allspice are among the best immunity builders in the dried spices group. They’re also key ingredients in holiday desserts like pumpkin pie, noodle kugel, molasses cookies, and gingerbread, as well as traditional European sweets like St. Nicholas cake and plum pudding. So if you’re going the indulgent route with buttery, sugary sweets anyway, why not choose goodies that also include cold-fighting ingredients?

Super Sides

Rather than the usual white starches like mashed potatoes, consider using colorful antioxidant veggies to make butternut squash soup or yam casserole. Not only are these tangerine-colored vegetables high in vitamins on their own, but winter dishes containing them usually call for ginger, cinnamon and other dried antioxidants.

Sage-sprinkled stuffing is not only a winter classic, but an immunity booster. Sprinkle fresh chopped basil or thyme over roasted vegetables, or add rosemary to basic white rolls.

Main Courses

Replace turkey or ham for main dishes that heavily rely on immunity boosters. For example, turmeric, dried fruits and colorful vegetables are the stars in various curried dishes. You can also try a ginger-spiked Asian seafood-veggie stir fry. Another non-traditional dish packed with antioxidants is vegetarian chili with tomatoes, oregano, cumin and chili powder.